The FTSE 100 struggled to gain positive momentum as Next’s warning continued to cast a shadow over the retail sector.
West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil rallied 1% to $52.90 and $56 per barrel, respectively.
Gold was 0.3% higher at $1,163 per ounce and copper jumped 2.6% to $5,621 per tonne.
FTSE 100 RISERS AND FALLERS
Fashion retailer Next (NXT) issued a profit warning causing the stock to plummet 11.1% to £42.37. The company reduced profit guidance for the year to January 2017 from the previous range of £785m to £825m down to £792m due to weak Christmas trading. It also warned that sales in the coming 12 months will be affected by a squeeze in consumer spending.
The bad news hit rivals Marks & Spencer (MKS) by 5.9% and Primark-owner Associated British Foods (ABF) by 3.6%.
FTSE 250 RISERS AND FALLERS
B&M European Value Retail (BME) fared better as third quarter revenue rose by over a fifth to £789.1m as a result of record Christmas sales. The shares gained 4.2% to 288.7p.
Housebuilder Bovis Homes (BVS) slipped 3.1% after broker Jefferies moved its recommendation on the company from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’.
Emergency power provider Aggreko (AGK) won a $450m contract to supply power to the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea in 2018.
The market was unimpressed by Ultra Electronics’ (ULE) £9.7m contract extension for the supply and production of sonobuoys for the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk2 maritime patrol helicopter fleet.
SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS
Brand protection tech developer Spectra Systems (SPSY) soared 38.7% to 35.3p on an optimistic trading update. The company reported it expects profits to significantly exceed market expectations, driven by improved margins.
FastForward Innovations (FFWD) announced its investee company Vested Finance received a takeover offer, prompting a 20% rally in the stock.
Gas storage firm Infrastrata (INFA) crashed 22% to 0.5p as the board indicated it will need to consider if the company can continue as a going concern if it cannot secure short-term funding in January.
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com